Global Food Import/Export News Highlights – May 2021

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Latest food import bans 

Azerbaijan is adding new countries to the list of temporary import ban of poultry and live birds due to bird flu concerns. Azerbaijan’s Food and Safety Agency has recently suspended poultry imports from some regions in Israel and Mali, in addition to the several already banned countries in Europe, as well as Korea, Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, Kuwait or India.

Another recent food import ban is taking place in Zimbabwe over a domestic maize surplus production estimated for the summer cropping season. After years of food shortages and thanks to favourable rainfall, the country is estimated to enjoy a production of 2.7 million tonnes of maize, three times bigger than 2020`s output and the highest in two decades.

In other news, India`s buffalo meat production and respectively export has been under the radar this month. Coronavirus contamination fears have triggered Indonesia to ban the import of buffalo meat from India, despite the constant beef supply since 2016. As a result, the Indian government has come forth, claiming the country`s buffalo meat exports are following all quality and safety standards and run unhindered, to more than 70 countries, including Hong Kong, Egypt or UAE. Moreover, after the safety assurance offered by the Indian government and recent discussions, Cambodia is now interested to review its temporary ban on meat products from India, including a free trade agreement negotiation.

Food import bans lifted recently

As a major fruits and vegetable supplier to Russia, Azerbaijan took a hard hit, back in December when Russia banned the import of tomatoes and apples from Azerbaijan, to prevent the spread of pesticides. In happier news, officials from both countries have met earlier this month to further discuss the restrictions, concluding with the lift of the import ban on tomatoes from five more Azerbaijani companies.

In a similar vein, a phone call on May 25th between the prime ministers of Singapore, respectively Japan has ended with the lifting of the remaining Japanese food import restrictions, imposed in 2011 as a consequence of the Fukushima power plant disaster. The list of countries that imposed restrictions on food import from Japan following the Fukushima nuclear incident has been gradually reduced from 54 to 15 in the present, as several nations eased restriction over time.

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